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In This Issue:
Quest Diagnostics - Sponsor Message (Left)
Advance Care Planning Workshop
WCMS Goes to Raleigh for White Coat Wednesday
New Members to WCMS
Mission Health Announces Leadership Appointment to Oversee Health Plan Solutions
Pardee Hospital Shutters Outpatient Psychiatric Clinic
The Poverty Problem in the Rural Mountains of WNC
Physicians' Voice in the News
HeartStrings 2014 at Mountain Sports Festival a Success
2014 WCMS Foundation Annual Campaign Report
WCMS Foundation Counsels 111 Project Access® Program Patients About The Health Insurance Marketplace
NC Ranks Last for Minorities with Regular Access to Health Care
Medicine's Top Earners Are Not the M.D.s
$1.6 Trillion, 10 Million Jobs: Study Shows Physician Impact on Economy
Job Board & Classified Ads



The Community Pulse e-Newsletter is designed for community members and non-member physicians. We choose selected important news and information items to share with you, so you are able to stay in-the-know on topics of interest to you.

If you are a physician but not yet a member, click here to view benefits of joining WCMS, and click here to complete an application.


Thank you for your support of, and interest in, the Western Carolina Medical Society!    

Advance Care Planning Workshop

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNC Asheville will hold an advance care planning workshop Thursday, June 19, 2014, 7-9 p.m. at the Reuter Center.

The workshop will feature a panel whose members are experienced in addressing end-of-life issues. Discussion will include communicating your treatment wishes to loved ones and to medical personnel, ethical and legal issues, and the uses of advance directives.  Ample time will be reserved for questions. Assistance will be provided for anyone wishing to complete a legally valid advance directive, including the notarization required in North Carolina, using the Five Wishes format.


This workshop is free and open to the public.


 Click here for more information about this event.


WCMS Goes to Raleigh for White Coat Wednesday 
Photo with Rep. Ramsey On May 28, WCMS staff were joined by Dr. Bob Henderson (Ob/Gyn) in attending White Coat Wednesday in Raleigh.  The day began with a briefing on current issues at the North Carolina Medical Society.  Then we met with five WNC Representatives and Senators (Van Duyn, Moffitt, Hise, Ramsey & Whitmire), as well as Senator Pate from Pitt County who co-chairs the Appropriations on Health & Human Services committee. 

The primary topics of discussion were our opposition to Medicaid cuts to reimbursements and beneficiaries (the Senate's budget proposal was released later that same day), the payer mix in WNC, physician-led Medicaid reform, mental health, physician shortage, tort reform upkeep and scope of practice (specifically a current bill in committee that would eliminate physician supervision of Certified Nurse Midwives).

Click here to read more about the White Coat Wednesday visit and to see photos.   
New Members to WCMS   
Click here to view the newest physicians to join WCMS!  
Mission Health Announces Leadership Appointment to Oversee Health Plan Solutions   
"This role will focus on creating the infrastructure and associated product offerings for Mission Health's at-risk operations, which have been under development for some time."

Continue reading.
Pardee Hospital Shutters Outpatient Psychiatric Clinic
"After the unexpected departure of two full-time psychiatrists, roughly 700 patients who receive psychiatric counseling and medication management services from a Pardee Hospital outpatient clinic are being redirected to Blue Ridge Community Health Services for care.."

 Continue reading
The Poverty Problem in the Rural Mountains of WNC  

"Rural North Carolina has greater health care needs and less of an ability to recruit health care professionals then our urban counterparts." A move toward improving access to health care in rural communities has meant that "it was the only sector of the economy from 2008 to 2012 that added jobs in rural communities."


In WNC, the health care sector accounted for 16 percent of regional rural employment.


Read more.
Physicians' Voice in the News 
WCMS is proud to announce another high quality addition to the series of "The Physicians' Voice" media presentations aimed to showcase to the general public our physicians' world-class medical expertise and focus on patient/community health.
Here is the latest release:
You can read all about The Physicians' Voice on our  website.
HeartStrings 2014 at Mountain Sports Festival a Success  
Local families faced off to raise money for a worthy cause, during this year's annual Heartstrings Fundraiser at the Mountain Sports Festival. The family fun challenge teams competed in events like a noodle-javelin throw, the three-legged race, and frisbee golf. We saw lots of physicians' families come through to participate in the fun, along with local and visiting families. Thanks once again to our sponsors and to all of the awesome volunteers (Development Council, Blue Ridge Roller Girls and community members!) who made this event a success.

Donations will go to the Western Carolina Medical Society's Certified Insurance Application Counseling Program and Project Access. The former charitable program helps low-income, uninsured residents across all of WNC gain access to affordable health insurance through NC's Federally Facilitated Insurance Marketplace, and the latter helps low-income uninsured residents of Buncombe County get access to medical care.

We look forward to seeing you all at the Mountain Sports Festival again next year! 
2014 WCMS Foundation Annual Campaign Report   
The 2014 Annual Campaign is underway.  With $25,405 in donations we are just over half way to our goal of $50,000.

The funds from this campaign allow the WCMS Foundation to help residents in our region who are uninsured- they are vulnerable to health crises from chronic conditions or illness. With your help, the WCMS Foundation provides access to health care for uninsured and under-insured people in need and enrolls those who are eligible into the insurance marketplace. As of March 31, we've enrolled over 80 individuals into insurance plans. 85% self-reported purchasing  the Silver 3000 Blue Advantage plan, with premiums under $30 a month and a $500 deductible. We need funding to continue to help the uninsured get insurance!

Please help us reach our campaign goal.  Join our Campaign division chairs in support of the WCMS Foundation and donate today.
WCMS Foundation Counsels 111 Project Access® Program Patients About The Health Insurance Marketplace   
Between January 1 - March 31, 2014, WCMS's 1.5 Certified Application Counselors (CACs) who were fully trained as Health Insurance Navigators, provided 'inreach' counseling to current Project Access® patients about the Health Insurance Marketplace (HIM), outreach counseling about the same to the patients of physicians throughout WNC, and counseling to the general public.

During the first three months of 2014, WCMS CACs reached out to 698 Project Access® (PA) patients who were thought to be potentially eligible for HIM. Well over 1,000 "touches" were made through mail and multiple telephone calls, while WCMS CACs conducted 150 face-to-face interviews with 111 individual Project Access® patients from our pool of 698 eligible PA patients.

 Read more.

NC Ranks Last for Minorities with Regular Access to Health Care
05/01/2014-  North Carolina ranks dead last in terms of adult minorities without a usual source of health care. We also rank 50th out of 51 (the ranking includes Washington, D.C.) in minorities who do not have health insurance, and rank 47th in the overall equity category according to the latest Commonwealth Fund State Health System report. In terms of the overall health ranking, which factors access, prevention and treatment and avoidable hospital use, among other factors, North Carolina ranks 36th, although that's an improvement over 2009, when this state ranked 44th. The Commonwealth Fund estimates that if North Carolina performed like the best performing state, an additional 1.1 million people would have health insurance, emergency department visits among people with medicare would be reduced by 60,000 and 719,000 fewer adults would go without needed health care because of cost.


Medicine's Top Earners Are Not the M.D.s
"Though the recent release of Medicare's physician payments cast a spotlight on the millions of dollars paid to some specialists, there is a startling secret behind America's health care hierarchy: Physicians, the most highly trained members in the industry's work force, are on average right in the middle of the compensation pack."

Read article.
$1.6 Trillion, 10 Million Jobs: Study Shows Physician Impact on Economy
From the American Medical Association:
Each physician in the United States supports 13.84 jobs on average and contributes $2.2 million in economic output, underscoring how physicians influence the health of both their patients and the economy, according to the AMA's new Economic Impact Study.

The study, prepared by IMS Health and released this week, focused on the roughly 720,000 physicians who primarily engage in patient care activities, as opposed to those who focus on research or teaching. Nationally, these physicians support $1.6 trillion in total economic output-that's $2.2 million per physician-and 10 million jobs.

The study also found that:
  • Physicians support $775.5 billion in wages and benefits at the national level.
  • Physicians contribute $65.2 billion in total state and local taxes nationally, or $90,449 in local and state tax revenue per physician. 
The study estimated the total economic impact of patient care physicians at the national level and for each of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., measuring output, jobs, wages and benefits, and state and local tax revenue. At the national level, physicians support greater economic output than the following industries: legal services, home health care, higher education and nursing home and residential care.

"Physicians carry tremendous responsibility as skilled healers, trusted confidants and patient advocates, but their positive impact isn't confined to the exam room," said AMA President Ardis Dee Hoven, MD, in a news release.

"The new AMA study illustrates that physicians are strong economic drivers that are woven into their local communities by the jobs, commerce and taxes they generate," Dr. Hoven said. "These quality jobs not only support the caring role of physicians, but also generate taxes that support schools, housing, transportation and other public services in local communities."

#KnowTheImpact: Visit the Economic Impact Study Web page to access an interactive map and see a specific break-down of economic contributions for each state.
Job Board  

Click here to see the latest jobs posted on our website. 


To find out how you can post a Job or Classified Ad Click here.

Learn more about the Western Carolina Medical Society on this page. We would love to hear from you. Please contact us with any questions, comments or concerns you may have.   



Miriam Schwarz


Miriam Schwarz signature


Miriam Schwarz, MPA

WCMS CEO/Executive Director 
(828) 274-2267 ext. 312